I grew up in a family where firearm safety was taught at a young age. As soon as I was old enough, I signed up for hunter’s safety and was able to participate in my first deer hunt. Respect and safety around firearms is something that is important in our family.
When I first started looking for what firearm I would use as my conceal carry, I spoke with friends and family about their opinions on what they prefer and their experiences with what they carry. I took the advice and experiences that they shared with me and I was able to narrow down my choices for my personal carry firearm.
My first decision was easy for me to make, I wanted to carry a semi-automatic pistol. It was something that I was the most familiar with and knew it would be my most comfortable choice. Next was deciding what the caliber of the firearm would be. I had handled handguns chambered in 9mm and .380 and felt comfortable with both. The .380 pistols are smaller framed and are very easy to conceal but I ultimately decided on a 9mm.
I started my search on the internet, watching various reviews and videos about what women recommended for conceal carry and why they like it. I also took to researching popular single stack 9mm firearms and the few that appeared were the Glock 43, M&P Shield, Walther PPS M2, and the Ruger LC9s Pro.
After completing my research, I had narrowed it down to 3 options. The Ruger LC9s Pro, M&P Shield and the Glock 43. Since I had narrowed it down, I decided to visit a local gun shop and see all of these firearms. After handling my top 3 options in person, the Ruger LC9s Pro was my choice.
When I held the LC9s it was the combination of what I was looking for. It has a longer trigger pull but was still easy to fire and it fit the best in my hand. With the extended magazine, I am able to fit all my fingers onto the grip comfortably. It has a narrow profile and I am able to rack the slide easily. The Ruger is also a lot more rounded in its design which is something that I loved, plus the pop of color it had was fun.
I purchased my LC9s Pro and was very excited to test it out and become more comfortable and confident handling the gun. It had been a long time since I had been to a range and practiced with handguns. I was able to have someone with experience help walk me through proper firearm safety and technique when shooting pistols. I highly recommend going with someone that is well-versed in handling firearms if they're new to you. If you don't know anyone personally, try to find a local instructor that can help you with the fundamentals.
After I purchased my firearm my next decision was how do I want carry my pistol? I knew that my preference was on-body carry and not in a purse or bag. I narrowed it down to either appendix carry or inside-the-waistband carry on my hip.
The StealthGearUSA IWB Mini has been my go-to holster since I first started carrying my LC9s. It is easy for me to conceal and extremely comfortable to wear. I carry it at the 4:30 position on my belt.
Choosing your concealed carry firearm ultimately comes down to your preference. My advice to anyone looking to purchase their first handgun would be to:
- Do your research, ask friends and family. YouTube is full of reviews on all types of handguns.
- Pick a caliber and stick with it. If you try and stick with a common caliber for all your firearms, you won’t have to gather 5 different calibers when you go to the range.
- Find a good holster!
Most importantly - be safe and have fun!